A Weim and a Chihuahua Move West

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A quick search through my email gave me the exact date I became acquainted with two dogs named Keen (a wonderful,three-legged Weimeriner) & Nook (a professional Chihuahua-cuddler). My first exchange with their family was in June of last year. I stared at that date for a while because sometimes your heart feels like its known someone longer. And then it moves real quick to how much longer you wish you had. Keen & Nook will be moving away from Chicago in April and I will have to say goodbye to them soon.

A little back-story on these guys: Many of their stays me were during one of the craziest times in my life. I was planning my wedding most of last year and using weekends to partner with my husband-to-be to get huge tasks scratched off our long list of to-dos. Every weekend, my parents came in from the suburbs and monthly, Mark’s Mom and Dad visited from Michigan to help us out. Keen & Nook literally met all of my immediate family during this time. I remember long workdays ending, me and Mark and the family would collapse in the living room with beers and the comfort that only dogs know how to give would inch up on each of us. Nook would crawl up on my mother-in-law’s lap, Keen would hop his front legs up on to the edge of the couch and lean in for head rubs and we’d all relax and unwind together. Of course there were days the humans were super irritated with one another and all that tension would melt away as we laughed together at something Keen would do. Sometimes it just takes a dog to make things all better.

That’s why I love them. Or rather, why I so quickly fell in love with them.

So in honor of Keen & Nook’s next big step in life – San Francisco – I thought it was appropriate to ask them to sit and be interviewed as my client feature for March.

Q. Keen & Nook, tell us the story of how Jacey & Dustin found you both.
Nook: I came from a big farm in western Oklahoma. I was raised with turkeys, chickens, dogs, and cats. I was the only white puppy in the litter. They say I look like my momma. My new humans couldn’t believe how spunky I was despite my tiny stature. My huge belly & white coat lead them to the name Nanook, which means polar bear.

Keen: I first met my persons when I was just 3-weeks old. Before I could even hop around, my human loved me. I had bright blue, squinty eyes and I fit into one hand. My Mom and Dad (the fine specimens they were) had very smart human caretakers and they knew I would need to go to a special home where someone would take care of me. I was introduced to my new home and to Nook when I was 6-weeks old. We were the same size back then.

Q. What states have you lived in so far and which one would you rate as the most friendly and welcoming to you?
Nook: I can speak for us both here, since I am the older and more mature canine. We both sowed our oats on the Oklahoma plains. We quite enjoyed our home state with its warm weather and open fields to play… but Chicago has certainly been our favorite place EVER. People say dogs need yards… but I am here to tell you that dogs need WALKS. Here in Chicago, we roam all over the place (under close supervision of course.), we visit dog parks (thanks, Julia!), walk into dog-friendly stores, and have oodles of fun at festivals and events where strangers gush over us.

Q. What are some of your favorite places in Chicago?
Nook: That is a difficult question! We agree that it’s a tie between Barker & Meowsky on Armitage and Dog-A-Holics on Southport. Keen couldn’t decide on one because if a place gives him free treats, he remains loyal. For life.

Keen: Wiggleyville!

Both: Our favorite summer Saturdays are spent rummaging the grounds of Green City Market for fresh & delicious scraps that humans have dropped. There are plenty of new friends to meet & yummy smells galore!

Q. What will you miss most about Chicago after your big move?
Keen: We’re devastated about missing our friends. Especially Julia & Mark. We cannot imagine better surrogate humans to love on us when our people are traveling. 

Nook (Nodding in agreement with Keen): I’ll tell you one thing I won’t miss though… wearing those ridiculous looking sweaters.

Q. What’s the one word that pops in to your head right now?
Nook: Let’s snuggle.

Keen: Fooooooooooooooooood.

Q. Tell me about your ideal day?
Both: Lazy weekends are our ideal days. We typically beg the humans to let us snuggle in the bed with them by early morning. This is an even trade – a delayed walk for access to their bed. once we all wake up, it’s off for a long walk. Dustin & Jacey stop by Asado for coffee, often snagging a little pastry to share with us. Then it’s keen’s favorite part of the day- breakfast!! Afternoons & evenings are divided evenly between napping & lounging. We are both dogs that flourish with lots of pets & love & snuggles. An evening walk & a lovely dinner would cap off our perfect day.

Q. What’s your best advice to humans?
Both: Our big advice? Simple! Take the cat by the claws and live adventurously! I say tug on your leash and go outside your familiar grassy yard! Mark new territory! Feast on that unknown pile! Oh c’mon – it won’t kill you. We’ve only got this one short life (and mine’s shorter than yours) and great big world just waiting for sniffing and licking. So load me up, and let’s head out into the wild unexpected. Go west, young pup! 

To Jacey & Dustin: Me and Mark send our very best wishes on your next adventure. Chicago will miss your family dearly. 

And to Keen & Nook: I love you. A ton.



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